Posts Tagged ‘joseph bell’

Compatriots Bell & Shepherd

May 18, 2015

Jonathan Shepherd was born in Whitehaven Cumberland in 1880 and was lost in the sinking of R M S Titanic, aged 32, on the 15th of April 1912.

Shepherd began his seagoing career with  W S Kennaugh & Sons, Liverpool, who traded with South America.  On his return to Liverpool he succeeded in obtaining  a second-class certificate joining the Lowther Castle trading between New York, China and Japan during the period of the Russo-Japanese War.

On obtaining his first class Marine Engineer’s certificate he joined the White Star line serving on the Adriatic, Teutonic, Olympic and Titanic, having been appointed Junior Assistant 2nd Engineer.  His monthly wage for this Titanic appointment being £12.10s.  It was said by Mr Shepherd senior, that Joseph Bell selected Jonathan for the Titanic engineering department and he was very honoured to have been chosen.

Jonathan Shepherd was on duty on the evening of the 14th of April, subsequent to the collision with the ice-berg, he helped his fellow engineers rig pumps in boiler room 5 but in the process of doing so he broke his leg, having slipped into a raised access plate.  Shortly after the nearby bulkheads were breached and the helpless Jonathan Shepherd drowned as  the icy waters overwhelmed him.  RIP another heroic Cumbrian.




Unique photograph Joseph Bell’s daughters c.1918

February 26, 2015

Joseph Bell had two daughters featured in the lower part of the photograph, being Marjorie Clare Bell b.Tottenham, London 1899 d.Shrewsbury, Shropshire 1965 Eileen Maud Bell b.Tottenham, London 1901 d.Shrewsbury, Shropshire 1973, which is Marjorie and which is Eileen is uncertain. Upper figures are Joseph Bell’s nephew in Army uniform and his wife, who were married 1917.


Three of the four children of Joseph & Maud Bell.  Marjorie Clare Bell,  Ralph Douglas Bell b.1908  Crosby d. 1977 Macclesfield, & Eileen Maud Bell.

Marjorie Eileen & Ralph Bell

Maritime Executive: Titanic Engineer’s Memorial Headstone Rededicated

May 22, 2014

Further coverage of the unveiling of the restored headstone for Joseph Bell can be seen over at the Maritime Executive site, by clicking here:, which covers the story from top to toe on the research into Joseph’s past, the book that was published, and the ceremony on the day to reveal the renovated memorial and surrounding area.


Press release | Joseph Bell Commemorative Memorial Service

April 26, 2014

The Appeal launched in April 2013 for funds to conserve the only memorial in Cumbria to the Titanic Chief Engineer Joseph Bell, in Farlam, has enabled the conservation work to be undertaken and completed. A commemoration service celebrating this was held at the gravestone memorial, on Saturday the 26th of April, at 2.00 pm, unveiled by Mr John Lightfoot MBE CEng.

Individual donations, grant aid, company donations and income from the sale of the illustrated biography of Joseph Bell, have funded the skilfully re-lettered memorial stone worked by the stonemason Bob Wellington, of Abbey Stonecraft. The memorial has been cleaned and sealed for future generations with a newly established access footpath to the memorial in the Old Graveyard, at St Thomas a Becket Church, signposted and with an acrylic encrypted QR [Quick Release] plate for further information about Joseph Bell.

A new engraved memorial plaque has also been sited adjacent to the memorial in the Old Graveyard. In his welcome to everyone Barrie Hodgson said, in this high tech, high speed and uncertain world that we share today, when we often lose ourselves in our everyday lives, it’s good that we can pause and come together, to remember and celebrate this remarkable Cumbrian from Farlam, the erstwhile Chief Engineer of R.M.S. Titanic, who died so courageously confronting fear, danger and uncertainty with his fellow Engineers, 102 years ago on the 15th of April 1912.

Mr John Lightfoot unveiled the memorial, followed by aural recollections of Joseph Bell: Edward Freer on his childhood, Toby Fretwell on his education, Hazel Hartley on his family life and John Lightfoot MBE on the White Star Line & R.M.S. Titanic. John Lightfoot laid a wreath on behalf of everyone created by Brenda Benjamin, being representative of White Star, Titanic & the Sea followed by The Reverend Janice Murray who said the closing words for everyone.

New ITV video coverage of the Restoration of The Joseph Bell Memorial

March 29, 2014

ITV have published a short video showing the restoration of the Joseph Bell Memorial and a few words from Ann Freer who lives in Joseph Bell’s house. Click to view the video.

Newly Available eBook Version of ‘Tarn to Titanic’ Biography of Joseph Bell

March 29, 2014

The success of the fund raising paperback biography of Joseph Bell titled ‘Tarn to Titanic: Life & Times of Joseph Bell Chief Engineer’ in Autumn 2013, has persuaded us to make the biography accessible now as a PDF [Portable Document Format] from this website for, in particular, English speaking individuals from around the world who regularly visit this site and would otherwise have no access to the title. In receiving the biography with a donation to the ‘Joseph Bell Memorial Appeal,’ it will be helping with the conservation of his only memorial situated in Farlam, his birthplace, in Cumbria.

To download and read the eBook click here.

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Hallbankgate School

April 23, 2012

The village school made a contribution to the memorial service for Joseph Bell. I have added some illustrations made by the children which were on display at the memorial service. The page is here.

Memorial Service on April 15th

February 26, 2012

A memorial service will be held at St Thomas a Becket Church, Farlam, CA8 1JR, on April 15th 2012, at 2.00 p.m.

Musical accompaniment by the Brampton & District Silver Band, playing hymns & music performed by the titanic musicians.

An exhibition of titantic artifacts will be on show in the church. Tea will be provided after the service and the Joseph Bell memorial gravestone can be visited in the cemetery.

Cumberland News Coverage of a new film about the Engineers of the Titanic

February 20, 2012

A film about the Titanic’s doomed voyage will be a memorial to the bravery of one of Cumbria’s unsung heroes and those who died alongside him.

Joseph Bell photo

Joseph Bell, from Farlam, near Brampton, was the ship’s 51-year-old chief engineer when it sank on April 15, 1912, claiming more than 1,500 lives.

Legend has it that he and others refused to desert their posts as they battled to keep the stricken vessel afloat and to maintain power right up to the last minute. Saving the Titanic is the first feature-length HD drama documentary to focus on the work of the men below deck.

Irish filmmaker Keith Farrell, its creator and co-producer, said: “I hope it will reawaken people’s interest in Joseph Bell because he really is the hero of this story.

Full story at the Cumberland News here:

Full details of the new film here:

Letter calling for a Carlisle Memorial

February 20, 2012


Many people in the northwest of England and nationally, will on April 15th the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, wonder why Carlisle County Council has failed to honour in any public way over the last 100 years the Cumberland born heroic Chief Engineer of the Titanic, Joseph Bell, born 1861 in Farlam, nr Brampton. In the early 1870’s Joseph and his family moved to Stanwix, Carlisle where he continued his education.

Recognizing and distinguishing this Cumbrian hero in this centenary year in a more permanent way is long overdue in Carlisle. Cumbria County Council have an opportunity in spite of any other priorities, to express their respect and honour on behalf of us all in the County of his birth, Cumbria.

Joseph Bell and his engineers stayed at their posts in the engine room till the ship sank into the ocean, and as a consequence of their collective courage and self-sacrifice saved many hundreds of lives.  Their heroic action in sustaining the functioning of electrical power, keeping the lights burning, and wireless going enabled the life- boats to function too.

This unsung engineer Joseph Bell and his fellow engineers have memorials to them in Southampton, and at the Pier Head in Liverpool, but why is he so shamefully neglected in Cumbria’s Carlisle?  Please let Cumbria put matters to right in this centenary year and honour him in his own land.

Barrie Bell Hodgson,